As our planet’s health consistently declines and becomes increasingly apparent to average consumers, focus on environmental consciousness and sustainability increases. For the environmentally conscious consumer, offering EV charging can be an even greater advantage than one might first assume.
For those who offer EV charging, as the sale of EVs grows, an increased charging need naturally occurs. To often, however, charging providers assume that increased charging capacity entails increasing electricity supply, which is often not the case. Increasing the supply of electricity unnecessarily poses unnecessary environmental stress and financial costs. In this guide we describe how to approach a system expansion while at the same time ensuring an economical and environmentally sound procedure.
There is no doubt that EVs are popular and more available to people than ever before. In this figure from Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) Global EV Outlook 2018 report, the numbers of the global EV stock emphasize this tendency.
The development in chargeable vehicles has created new challenges for energy systems; increased dynamics and unpredictability for the end user, and capacity issues in the distribution network due to increased effect needs in periods with peak electricity loads. Because expanding electricity supply is costly, it is profitable to consider options to better utilize the current supply and increase electricity distribution efficiency.
With the UN climate report from 2018 stating that every half degree of extra global warming will affect hundreds of millions of people, we were given yet another proof that reducing our individual footprints is of crucial importance. In order to reach the goal of keeping global warming within 1.5C, emissions need to be cut by 45% by 2030. The overarching goal is to reach a level of zero-carbon emissions.
One of the obvious measures to reduce carbon emissions is to replace fossil fueled energy with green energy. Each EV that replaces a fossil fueled car represent a step in the right direction.
Several commercial property owners have unexploited flexibility in their existing energy resources, while the demand for available charging in buildings and parking houses is increasing. For the following groups, investing in an EV charging infrastructure has great profitability potential:
The higher the number of planned residential units or parking spaces is, the more profitable the establishment of an EV charging system. The cost associated with the investment and installation argues for a long-term perspective. If there is only a modest commitment with a plan to install a total of five charging stations, this will not create significant value.
EV sales numbers and predictions indicate that preparing for a future of EV dominance will be profitable. A keen commitment in this direction will be a sensible investment, both for the environment and for an investor’s bottom line.
Read also: Save (On) Your Flexibility, Not Your kWhs
For a housing cooperative, EV charging is a potential source of income. Before this can become a reality, you need permission to access the residents’ electricity consumption data. You need this information to make use of a top system that can provide an overview of the free capacity available in the existing system. You can compare a top system to a smart meter. Making use of one allows building owners to utilize existing disposable electricity optimally. Electricity excesses can be stored and used or sold back to utility companies.
The mapping of total electricity consumption and how it is distributed around the clock in a housing cooperative provides better predictability than a building where the number of users and overall consumption varies. This shows why a housing cooperative is particularly suited for claiming the advantages of a well-controlled and managed electricity supply.
Charging during the night is another opportunity in a housing cooperative, a solution that will not work as well for a shopping center or other types of customer parking where traffic is naturally limited to opening hours.
The term prosumer is a consumer who also produces energy. Maximum utilization of existing capacity is what the prosumer term is all about. The prosumer revolution also represents the principle that forms an important part of the foundation on which we need to build our sustainable future.
Because the shortage of EV charging infrastructure is, to a great extent, what has been restricting further adoption of electrical vehicles, those who can provide charging facilities will have an absolute advantage. In some online property search engines, it is now possible to set EV charging as one of the preferences in a property search. This function shows the real expectations consumers have for the availability of EV charging, and proves that offering EV charging has a real, visible value. The more chargers offered, the higher is the value it brings to the property. Accessible EV charging will make a property more attractive to anyone driving an EV, whether they are residents of a cooperative housing or customers of a company located in the building.
EV charging make up one of many electricity dependent components in a commercial building. Another way of reducing environmental impact is to gain full control of the building’s total energy consumption. With an AI based top system, all energy dependent components can be integrated into the same system. By giving the system access to historical and real time data, it creates predictions, and based on these, the total electricity supply is distributed in the most cost-effective way available. Hence, investing in a well-functioning top system is a big environmentally friendly step in the right direction.
There are two main concerns about installing EV chargers are the lack of predictability from galloping technology development, and operating costs. Even though swift progress can be beneficial, it can also raise a doubt whether the technology we invest in today will endure.
Most of the widespread perceptions of which challenges come with EV chargers can be avoided if proper mapping is carried out in advance. Having a service and maintenance contract in place will ensure that the system works as it should and that skilled personnel are available when needed. This incurs extra cost, but operating costs are modest when compared to total costs.
If you already have an EV charging system and wish to expand capacity, the first step is to check if upgrading was considered at the time of the initial system and wiring installation.
The best overall tip to ensure you get a charging site that will neither be too expensive to operate nor outdated too quickly, is to consult experts and allow enough time to do a proper mapping of actual and future needs before making any decisions.
Contrary to what one might think, the right equipment is not the decisive factor. Focus on choosing the right supply and infrastructure for each specific system. A qualified supplier will insist on starting with a main supply cabinet and wiring that can easily be expanded. As long as this opportunity exists in a system, it will be able to keep up with whatever technical development comes.
We can separate the costs of establishing EV charging into installation and operational costs.
Operating costs can be reduced significantly by optimizing and utilizing the existing electricity supply. An AI-based top system can do this, and through its predictions and algorithms for electricity distribution, the need for manual labor decreases, while efficiency and income increases.
Several providers offer EV charging as a leasing service. There are different business models to choose from, but usually the installation costs fall on the provider, while you manage the operating costs. As soon as the system is up and running, you can start using a payment solution where each EV owner pays for their electricity consumption. This income goes back to the operator of the charging site, providing an opportunity to start down payment immediately.
The advantage of leasing is the chance to delegate as much of the responsibility as you prefer. The installer can control both the installation, operating and technical support. It is worth noticing that if you decide to hand it all over to a provider, they will probably be eligible to keep most of the income from the charging service.
Before deciding to establish EV charging in a commercial building, several elements should be considered and accounted for. Meeting your defined needs is the first and most important requirement. Here are some questions you should ask in the preparatory investigation phase:
When planning for an investment like EV charging, seeing the bigger picture and looking ahead is advantageous. With this approach you are more likely to end up with the most dynamic and well-functioning charging system possible.
A well-adapted supply and infrastructure make up the foundation for a sustainable and effective charging system. If you start out with the wrong infrastructure, it might have to be replaced as early as after five years. If there is no opportunity to expand, there is also a chance of facing considerable costs in the second round as well. With a main supply cabinet and wiring that provides the option of expanding, expansion costs decrease significantly. The right setup from the get-go make for a flexible and adaptable system.
Before choosing and investing in equipment, make sure:
According to extensive research, managing the charging through smart tools and introducing storage capacity are the most effective measures for reducing power requirements.
This thesis mentions a project testing software that provides an overview and the possibility to manage energy resources using predictions. The results are clear: Optimizing (managing charging) is preferable to energy management based on set rules, with the software providing 43 per cent saved capacity, compared to 24 per cent when following the rule-based approach.
Your EV charger can communicate with the power grid operator’s smart meter and activate charging when the grid is less strained and electricity is cheaper. There are several alternatives when looking at systems and management tools to help utilize the electricity that already exists in a system. The premise setting idea is to reduce or equalize electricity consumption, which will be favorable both to the environment and your bottom line.
By installing the chargers in one larger station with a common access point from the same monitoring point and electricity supply, you can gather data from the entire system. Data from the chargers can be used to optimize maintenance and reduce repair and downtime. A good management tool is important to optimize the use of the existing electricity capacity.
EV charging can be a source of income in commercial buildings as well as for housing cooperatives. The cost base is effect and electricity. As long as you are in control of that and electricity consumption can be managed within the frames given by the consumers, selling your electricity surplus back to the power grid operators is a potential source of income here as well. This reduces the overall operating resource demand.
A survey carried out among Norwegian EV drivers shows that this group understands and accepts the costs that come with EV charging opportunity. We consider this to be good news knowing that payment for charging can finance the continued operations of charging stations. EV drivers show greater faith in charging stations where they have to pay for charging, as this usually means the station is accessible and well maintained. Predictability and availability are essential features to an EV driver.
An EV charging station is probably just one of many devices in your overall internal electricity system. One way of coordinating and integrating all your components in one system is investing in a top system. This is based on artificial intelligence as well as when fed data from all your electricity demanding components can create predictions for how to best utilize your existing electricity supply.
As the service provider, you should make sure you sign a service contract, which will ensure that maintenance and service is under control. Consequently, EV drivers will return to make use of your stable charging offer; traffic that will generate a certain stability and income.
The most important thing about developing a tender package is to communicate the real needs that have to be met. The exact charging need should make up the basis for all assessments by equipment or service providers. Keep it as simple as possible, and make sure it is adequate. Focus on communicating the essential functionality or service clearly, as this will allow you to give the provider a free scope in presenting alternative solutions. The more comprehensive your mapping ahead of time has been, the more specifically you can communicate the actual needs.
Don’t be afraid to express the importance of focusing on an energy sufficient and environmentally conscious approach in the planning stages of the project.
When considering several tender offers, always make sure you ask for references. Spend time reading and comparing the offers thoroughly.
A provider that mentions these points and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the system as a whole is likely to be the provider who can present you with the best and most beneficial offer.